Tag Archives: dairy

Milk Quality & Mastitis Part II: Treatment

This article is part of the NOFA Vermont Dairy and Livestock Technical Assistance Program.

Click here to jump to our Winter Conference offerings for dairy and livestock farmers.

Silhouette of three cowsWe recently shared some resources for mastitis prevention. But what to do when cows do get a clinical or subclinical udder infection?

Subclinical mastitis can show up as an increase in the SCC (somatic cell count) without visual signs of mastitis. Clinical mastitis will include visual changes in the milk or udder swelling.

When a cow has clinical mastitis, treatment suggestions that Dr. Guy Jodarski, staff veterinarian for Organic  Valley/CROPP Cooperative, discussed in a recent webinar include:

  • frequent stripping
  • vitamin & mineral supplements
  • allowed synthetics including fluids, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • biologics (such as immunoboost) and vaccines
  • herbs including antibacterial tinctures
  • topicals (essential oils)
  • whey products – made from colostrum
  • antioxidants
  • homeopathy

Some synthetic medications are allowed for use on organic livestock; for acute mastitis cases these include Banamine (Flunixin) and aspirin. Electrolytes (such as CMPK or hypertonic saline), along with injectable vitamins, are also used by some veterinarians.

Before treating an animal, check the 2014 Organic Livestock Healthcare List or contact the VOF certification office to be sure the treatment is approved for use. It is important to keep records of what treatments are used, and to withhold milk when required by the organic standards.

As there’s no single silver bullet treatment for mastitis, each farm will find a few products from this list that work for their management system.

A good relationship with the veterinarian can make being  certified organic easier! Your veterinarian can help you  understand what treatments to use, develop a better prevention plan, and keep better records.

For more information on organic production, herd health, and other technical assistance available from NOFA Vermont, contact Sam Fuller, Program Coordinator, at 802-434-4122 or sam@nofavt.org.

Dairy & Livestock at the Winter Conference

Join us for an advanced commercial dairy & livestock track on Saturday, including:

Sunday also offers a diversity of workshop topics, including Efficient Swine Rationing from Piglet to Adult, Farm Labor: Strategies for Success with Your Employees, Market Research: How to Address Opportunities, Winter Lambing Procedure, and many more!

And on Monday, February 17th, join our all-day intensive:
Chicken Soup for the Soil: Building Nutrient-Dense Soil for Nutrient-Dense Crops with Jerry Brunetti,
Jack Lazor, and Heather Darby.

Honoring Jack Lazor

Enid (left) with Anne and Jack Lazor
Enid (left) with Anne and Jack Lazor

Last Sunday, at the Gateway Center in Newport, farmers, neighbors, organic farm advocates, and many, many friends gathered to celebrate the launch of Jack Lazor’s new book, The Organic Grain Grower: Small-Scale, Holistic Grain Production for the Home and Market Producer.  Published by Chelsea Green, the book was released August 19th, and as Ben Gleason, organic wheat grower from Bridport, described it, “It is Jack in a book.  All of the things anyone needs to know, and not know,  about growing grain, is in these pages.”

Jack, a pioneer in organic grain growing and founder of Butterworks Farm, said that he has learned so much from the people who took time to educate him along the way, and that one lesson he learned was that “Generosity doesn’t cost, it pays.”

Many of Jack’s mentors and those he has mentored were in the room. One farmer who transitioned to organic production because of Jack’s influence said, “I used to farm in partnership with Monsanto and Cargill, and I converted to organic production after driving around with Jack.”  Many people talked about how generous Jack is with his time, and the critical role he plays in keeping information alive.

It felt so good to be in a room full of people who honor Jack, and all he has accomplished for organic dairy production and processing, organic grain and dry bean production, soil management and animal health. Jack and Anne have now passed the farm to their daughter Christina and her growing family, and Jack said that he looks forward to spending more time mentoring young farmers in the future. The circle of education is in great hands with Jack sharing his knowledge, and the new book will allow farmers all around the world to learn from his experience.

[by Enid Wonnacott, NOFA-VT Executive Director]